KARACHI: Marks & Spencer and Solfruit International have expressed interest in Pakistani mangoes after two shipments of Chaunsas were successfully shipped to the UK and the Netherlands by sea for the first time.
Freight charges of mangoes by sea is 50 per cent less than air freight which means that Pakistani exporters can now get a better price in the European market.
The overall arrival quality of Chaunsa sent to the European mainstream market on July 17 from Pakistan via sea received positive feedback from both importers, Univeg Katope and Solfruit International. The shipping was done by FA International, a local export firm, in collaboration with the USAID Firms project.
This is the first-ever shipment scientifically processed under the Firms treatment plant installed in Rahimyar Khan and Multan, according to the Vice Chairman All Pakistan Fruits and Vegetable Exporters, Importers and Merchants Association, Aslam Pakhali.
“The mangoes tolerated nearly four-week voyage very well,” according to the agriculture consultant, USAID Firms project Pakistan, Dr David Paicha. He was very optimistic about the overall quality of the fruit.
The container of mangoes sent from Ali Tareen Farms arrived in good condition on August 10 at Univeg Katope in Spalding, England. And it arrived successfully at Solfruit International in Barendrecht, Netherlands.
Clive Bayston and Tim Brill of Univeg Katope were very impressed with the flavour and quality of the fruit. Univeg Katope will test market several pallets of the fruit with leading supermarket retailers like Morrisons and Marks & Spencer. They will also send some pallets to the wholesale market and may send one to Bakker in Barendrecht, Netherlands.
Gustavo Rodriguez of Solfruit International was very much impressed with the flavour of the mango and interested in sustained future shipments of Pakistani mangoes.
This is great news for the next mango season, but even this season, Solfruit is interested in receiving another shipment of White Chaunsa in the second last week of August.
The transit time of three weeks was weathered well by the fruit due to proper preparation. However, the mangoes lacked firmness and were at a ready-to-eat stage, even though they were not shrivelled, thus they had to be sold immediately. The fruit that arrived here on Friday was basically four weeks after harvest and it potentially has another week of market life. Thus, more work is still required to fine-tune both pre-harvest and post-harvest care.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 14th, 2010.